The 19 Steps to God: Class Notes 8/13/09
We reviewed the principles of the Third Blessing/Fourth Step: We can bridge the boundaries and access the Infinite.
It is only with this awareness that we can approach the middle blessings of request in the Amidah. It is how our prayer matters.
The most important prayer is expressed through blessings. In fact it is called the Shmone Esrei – by the number of its blessings!
We discussed four stories of the power of blessing: Rabbi Weinberg’s father’s lesson in how to make a blessing over an orange.
The Rebbe who explained that the Chassid made a blessing in order to eat an apple, while the Rebbe ate the apple in order to recite a blessing.
The bed-ridden woman who wanted to live many more years just so she could make a blessing once a week after her body was cleaned. She lived for that once a week blessing and it was worth all the physical misery of her life!
A man who wore a half-eaten belt 40 years after the Holocaust to remember that he asked a Halachic question while in Auschwitz, whether he had to make a blessing on eating his belt: The rabbi’s answer was that such a question was the most powerful blessing.
The Talmud teaches that in order to receive wisdom we must first appreciate what it is. This is why this is the only blessing that begins with the acknowledgement.
God grants Da’at as a gift. God teaches us Binah – Perception through our life experiences.
When we say “Who teaches us Binah” we are acknowledging God’s active role in our lives: Everything is a teaching: You can work on this!
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